Whether you’ve dripped pesto sauce on your favorite shirt, are battling with a muddy soccer uniform or want to know how to remove old stains, this guide is for you.
Top stain removal tips
Before we get on to the finer points of removing particular stains, let’s run through the ‘one size fits all’ approach to how to remove stains.
Deal with a spill as quickly as possible.
Get as much of the offending substance off as you can. In most cases, this means rinsing it off with cold water, but if water is likely to spread the stain (we’re looking at you, mud) try to brush it off or vacuum it up.
Pour a small amount of stain remover or laundry liquid onto the stain. Massage it into delicate fabrics, or use a soft toothbrush on more sturdy materials.
If it’s a new stain, get the garment into the wash as soon as you can, with a biological laundry detergent containing enzymes to break down the stain. (If you’re tackling a really large stain or very muddy clothes, rinse them individually before you wash with other laundry.) For older stains, try soaking the garment in cold water for a few hours first.
Blood stain removing tips
Blood is one of the worst culprits when it comes to staining, second only to ketchup in our opinion. Your first step is to rinse as much of the blood out as possible using cold water. (Hot water can set the stain.) Cover the affected area with stain remover and leave it to work for a few minutes before washing.
Grass stain removal hacks
Found a noticeable green smear on football pants? Soak them in cold water for a half hour, then massage laundry detergent into the stain before washing.
How to remove old sweat stains on white clothes
If you’re struggling to get rid of old sweat stains with laundry detergent alone, try squeezing some lemon juice onto the stain and leaving it to soak. Other laundry hacks include soaking it in white vinegar and making a paste out of crushed aspirin.
Grease stain removal
Whether it’s a pat of butter or a splatter of oil, speed is crucial when it comes to grease. Rinse or wipe off as much as you can, and then work a little baking soda into the stain before throwing everything in the washing machine.
Accidents happen. If there’s pee on the mattress or carpet, blot up as much as possible (you might want to wear rubber gloves). Then sprinkle some laundry powder or baking soda over the pee. It’ll help to soak up more urine and reduce staining. Leave it for a few minutes before brushing it up, and then scrub with a carpet cleaner (or diluted laundry detergent if the stain is on a mattress.) Sprinkle some more baking soda or laundry powder over the damp patch and leave it for a few hours before vacuuming. For older stains, dab them with white vinegar before scrubbing.
Mud stain removal tricks
Kids attract mud. As do dogs, athletes of all varieties and outdoor lovers. To start off, brush as much of the mud off as possible. Then rinse the garment thoroughly before putting it in as hot a wash as the label recommends.
Chocolate stain removal tips
Whether you’ve accidentally sat on a chocolate chip cookie, or a child has smeared chocolate all over your top, you’re going to want to get as much of the gooey mess off as possible (we won’t tell if some of it makes its way into your mouth). Once you’ve wiped off as much of the chocolate as you can, rinse the clothes well with cold water. Then add a splash of laundry detergent, work it into the stain, and soak for a half hour before washing.
Stain removal with baking soda
If you prefer cleaning with natural ingredients, you’ll love baking soda. You can use it for everything from cleaning ovens to deodorizing sneakers.
You can make a stain-busting paste by adding a few drops of water to a tablespoon of baking soda and rubbing it into stubborn stains. Baking soda can also help with stained Tupperware—just fill your containers with hot water, add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda and leave them to soak overnight.